I find eating out challenging. I am not going to lie. Until our society “gets it” about food linked to disease and is willing to change its behavior, I am afraid this will be tricky. You see, restaurants are open to make money, and that is what our country wants. I celebrate that! Hooray for free markets! But then, we need to be aware that restaurants aren’t concerned about your health. They shouldn’t be – we should!!
I have to take extra care when I eat out as there are very few options in our area. Here are a few things I do. Hoping it will give you some ideas.
- I tuck a small container of my favorite dressing from home in my purse, order a salad and voila!
- Ask if the soup they are offering is vegetarian and dairy free. If it is, I will try it. Here is the big caveat though…. get ready…. I know from working in restaurants that sometimes the chef will use the water from the pasta (I kid you not) to “thicken” the soup. That makes a bowl of gluten! – so I am careful to look for that.
- I order salad and then order a baked potato to fill me up. If they don’t have a potato and I need a heavier meal, I will resort to rice.
- Pre-eat. I never go to a restaurant hungry. My husband does this too and we have averted many disasters because of this.
- I have a sweet thing or snack waiting for me for the ride home – if the food is not satisfying, then there is a treat waiting for me. I have sliced fruit, a raw macaroon or dried fruit.
- I order vegetables from other entrees and make a meal out of that.
- Order some sides of vegetables and a salad.
I know, call me “crazy,” call me “high maintenance” or call me “extreme.” I have spent many nights trying to sleep on a bloated belly, after being “polite” at a restaurant. It’s just not worth it.
Here’s to a good and satisfying meal. I wish you all health and of course, mindful nutrition!